On Birthdays & Birthing Days: Lessons from Life’s Classroom


I celebrated my birthday this past Thursday. That same day, my mother became extremely ill and was rushed to the hospital. In the process of sharing my experience with a friend, I mentioned that on a day in which I celebrated life, I was also reminded of how fragile life really is.

My friend, in an attempt to empathize with me shared what I thought was a wonderful perspective.

Birthdays and Birthing Days: A Reciprocal Relationship

She talked about how difficult the time must have been, and how on one hand, I was celebrating my birthday with my family, but on the other, my mother was celebrating her birthing day, the day that she gave birth to me. She went on to tell me about how important her birthing day was, and still is to her.

What a wonderful perspective. Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps some of my male privilege is showing, but I had not really heard that concept explained in such a simple yet profound way before.

So, as I sit in this hospital room, I continue to celebrate life with a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for the time that we have had, and still have to spend together.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW



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I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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